Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is the leading form of skin cancer treatment available today. It offers patients the highest likelihood for cure, while minimizing the potential for scarring or disfigurement. Developed in 1938, Mohs surgery continues to offer the highest success rates for certain types of skin cancer. In order to ensure that the procedure is performed correctly, Mohs surgery should only be performed by a surgeon who has completed an American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS) fellowship. At Marina Dermatology, patients who have been diagnosed with skin cancer will find the care they need with our ACMS-trained dermatologist.

Mohs surgery is the most effective treatment for almost all types of skin cancer. Our skin Doctor will recommend Mohs surgery when it is the most appropriate treatment option for your skin cancer. Mohs surgery is the best option when removing tumors from areas where the cosmetic appearance and/or function of the skin must be considered, such as the face or nose. It is also the preferred method for removing skin cancers that cover a large area, have grown rapidly, or are located in scar tissue. Because it is a complex surgery, we recommend that our patients become familiar with the procedure beforehand so they know what to expect on the day of their surgery. During your pre-surgical consultation at one of our Los Angeles offices, our dermatologist will help you understand the procedure and ensure that all of your questions have been answered.

While highly effective, the surgery is quite complex and can take some time to perform. Typically, the surgery will begin first thing in the morning and will continue until the surgeon is certain that all traces of cancer have been removed. In some cases, this can take the better part of a day. The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure in one of our Marina del Rey area offices. Local anesthesia is used, so the patient will be awake during the entire procedure. Once the area has been fully numbed, our Mohs surgeon will remove the visible tumor and a thin margin of surrounding tissue. The doctor will then view the tumor and tissues under a microscope. If any cancer is detected in the thin layer of surrounding tissue, then another layer of tissue will be excised from the cancerous area. The surgeon will continue this process until he is certain that all cancerous tissue has been removed. Most patients require no more than three rounds of this process to fully remove the cancer. Once the doctor is sure that the skin cancer has been entirely removed, reconstruction can be performed. Depending on the area where the cancer was removed, reconstruction may be performed by our Dermatologist  or a reconstructive specialist (this is typically arranged beforehand so the reconstruction can occur on the same day).

As with the removal of any type of skin cancer, some amount of scarring is expected. Mohs Surgery is the standard in skin cancer removal because it provides the highest likelihood that the cancer will be completely removed, while preserving as much tissue as possible. Our Doctor provides his LA patients with instructions to follow during the recovery period to minimize the risk of scarring. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, it is best to find a surgeon who is a member of the American College of Mohs Surgery to perform your treatment. In doing so, you will be assured the highest standards of care and skill. In Marina Del Rey, you will be in good hands with Board Certified MOH’s surgeon.